You know. As an aperitif. No images; they'll just weigh you down and spoil your appetite.

  • Back in the days when there was more than one Lunar fansite on the internet, I remember having a conversation with Janet Losey of the Lunar Goods Archive in which she observed that Working Designs, regardless of any other localization missteps it committed, could be relied upon to make the most of its villains. Her comment comes to mind in the studio's renaming of one of the game's most powerful artifacts from the "Demon's Tear" in the original to "Ghaleon's Tear" in translation. It's a mythologizing of a purportedly cold & bloodless character's emotions more befitting of a mythic damsel.

    It's an interesting mirror of Ghaleon, whose character in Silver Star hinges on apparently forsaking the path of love and dedicating himself to duty and power. However, his motivations, when revealed, cast him as being strongly motivated by love, either in having Dyne's love unjustly abused by Althena, or by the perceived loss of Dyne's love as a son. Even from the protagonists' perspective, there's a continuous thread, from indulgent poetry in Damon's Spire to the weight given Ghaleon's reactions & mindset in SSS's crucial flashback to the secret garden in the Grindery before the final confrontations, that what the world now views as Ghaleon's former self isn't thoroughly expunged, that it's worth regarding despite other necessities; the Tear represents hallowing the human (so to speak) part of him, hallowing his heart, and using it against him, weaponizing the vestiges of and drive behind the hero as which the world once saw him by those once in part inspired by him.

    The Lunar fan artist hibbary started a comic about this artifact. The art is beautiful, as is usual for her, and the expressiveness of her characters is extraordinary, even though I didn't always agree with her characterizations and have little use of Nash at the best of times. The comic was never finished. I would have liked to have seen what she had planned for the story.

  • I find it notable that despite being a powerful wizard endboss and one of the headliner characters in his franchise, Ghaleon doesn't have a trademark attack or spell, such as Magus's Dark Matter. Hell Wave was originally Zophar's. Dragon Cannon, though intense and impressive, is too Kamehameha-like to be distinctive and is part of an assumed identity. I suppose, though, that the lack of one go-to attack spell is thematically appropriate, fitting both Ghaleon's role as a sage, a master of all magic trades, and the fact that he was originally a priest - that he's naturally suited to healing, caretaking, and teaching, and that attack magic, that hurting, is associated with him going down the "wrong" path, away from his better, inner nature. (Of course, as a Ghaleon apologist, I'd argue that his path as an antagonist is also borne out of that nature, out of a desire to rectify perceived wrongs and overidentification with that caretaker role...but this is a different discussion, one that's been had.)

    Incidentally, Lunar uses similar signaling with Ghaleon regarding surrounding himself with machinery and the metal of his Magic Emperor costume instead of his nature & garden milieu. It's notable to observe, however, that despite Ghaleon being heavily involved with machinery in both of Vheen Hikuusen's main stories, Funato dissociates Vheen's elven ruins and the Great Inheritance from the bad vibes of the Grindery's mechanics & gears by making the machines, well, non-mechanical - the crystals and earthiness of TnK's ruins, and the elven airiness of KSK's airship, with its huge bridge and its panorama of nature, designed as a means to explore the larger world (and, of course, to communicate love). The Great Inheritance is seen framed in nature, against snow and sky; those working on it are doing so in the open air. I keep mentioning it, but I'm consistently floored by Akari Funato's attention to communicating themes through visual detail and metaphor in Vheen Hikuusen. Over 20 years on, and there are still things I'm learning to appreciate about that book.

  • We're in no danger of this scenario, and given how the original creators have either passed away, changed, or moved on, I wouldn't wish for it to happen, but if there were a Lunar 3 - set in the future after 2, not as a Four Heroes story - how a Ghaleon appearance might work. The obvious answer is that he shouldn't appear; his story is done. But Ghaleon's such a strong & distinctive part of what makes Lunar that I wonder if something appropriate couldn't be arranged.

    My idea: don't have him as an active character in the plot. Have him as a never-named NPC. Put him in a garden. Have him be its sole occupant, its tender, this nameless gardener. It shouldn't be a mournful place, like Ghal's garden in Lunar 2 - it should be full of light and life. Make it a safe space in the world, an isolated pocket of beauty, like Aerith's garden in FF7. The party can stop by, he'll help in giving useful advice or encouragement, but he'll never leave the place or join the party. (He's most likely a ghost, of course, but leave his nature unexplained. Don't comment when you don't need to.) It'd be difficult to do this without overly winking and nodding, but such an arrangement would allow him to reassume his role of teacher, place him in the milieu that's consistently represented his true and best self (and would here, being the only place where he appears, signify a restoration to that), and give him an "enshrined" yet appropriately inobtrusive place in the tale, allowing the proceedings of the plot to stand on their own two feet and remaining faithful to the drive of his story, which ends with him at peace with entrusting matters to future generations. I think it'd be a frankly beautiful way to integrate him into a never-to-exist continuation of the series.

    And hey - maybe some special guests can stop by the garden every now and again.

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